The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has reportedly banned Airbus and Boeing aircraft operated by Russian airlines from entering Chinese airspace. 

Several Russian airlines received and later published memos citing the ban, Russian news site RBK reports. 

According to the report, some memos claim the ban extends only to the aircraft that have “double registration” due to being reregistered in Russia, while others say all Russian-operated aircraft of the two manufacturers were banned. 

A source within one airline explained that China justified the ban because some aircraft “stopped meeting ICAO and IATA requirements”, RBK reports. 

Meanwhile, according to sources cited by the Telegram channel Aviatorschina, the Russian airlines that operate domestically-made aircraft, such as the Tu-204 and the Il-76, continue flying to China. 

After the sanctions that were declared by the US and the EU following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, many aircraft operated by Russian carriers but owned by Western leasing firms, have been effectively commandeered, with the airlines failinging to return them to the legal owners. 

In March 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law allowing the reregistration of foreign-owned aircraft within Russia. While some of the jets were paid for, most remain in limbo as lessors look for ways to reclaim them.

Additionally, in March and May Russian aviation laws were overhauled, getting rid of numerous safety regulations relating to maintenance and certification. With sanctions also affecting maintenance and parts of non-Russian-made aircraft, Russian airlines are facing an upcoming struggle to keep the aircraft airworthy.